Bukit Kepong rep Sahruddin Jamal tipped to be next Johor MB

Bukit Kepong assemblyman Dr Sahruddin Jamal of PPBM. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: PPBM’s Bukit Kepong assemblyman Dr Sahruddin Jamal is tipped to be named as Johor menteri besar following the resignation of Osman Sapian today.

Two high-level sources in PPBM told FMT that Sahruddin, 43, is the frontrunner for the post as he is seen as the most credible choice.

Sahruddin, who graduated from Hasanuddin University in Indonesia, is the state executive councillor (exco) for health, environment and agriculture.

He beat Umno’s Mohd Noor Taib and PAS’ Mohamad Nur Iqbal Abd Razak by a slim majority to win the Bukit Kepong seat in the May 9 polls.

Another possible candidate for the menteri besar post is Puteri Wangsa assemblyman Mazlan Bujang.

Mazlan is the works, infrastructure and transport exco.

Universiti Utara Malaysia analyst Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said Sahruddin is the more likely candidate given his age, prominence and reputation as a credible leader.

“What is most important is that he play the role of a bridge between Putrajaya and the Johor palace,” he told FMT.

“Clearly, Pakatan Harapan (PH) is acting on dissatisfaction in Johor regarding Osman’s performance and credentials.”

But while Kamarul believes various quarters are unhappy with Osman, he said it was ultimately the call of prime minister and PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Mahathir tends to give people time, but once he loses patience, he usually acts swiftly.

“We may even see action taken against some Cabinet members who have not been performing,” he said.

Mahathir announced earlier today that Osman had tendered his resignation last night.

Osman’s absence during a visit by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong today also fuelled speculation of his imminent removal as menteri besar.

Mahathir also said an acting menteri besar could be named soon.

PH holds a two-third majority in the 56-seat state assembly with 39 seats as opposed to Barisan Nasional’s 16 seats and PAS’ single seat.

Of the 39 PH seats, DAP has 14, followed by PPBM (11), Amanah (nine) and PKR (five).